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5 Tips for Starting a New Exercise Routine!

exercise_237x150Make 2011 Your Healthiest Year Yet With These Exercise Tips!

The one great thing I love about the New Year is it's full of new opportunities, new enthusiasm and new commitments to change ones life for the better.

One common goal around the New Year is to get healthier through exercise. With just a few weeks left until the ball drops, if you're planning to start a new exercise routine as part of your self-improvement plan for next year, here are five tips to help make it easier.

Tip #1: Consult your doctor first. Before you begin any exercise program it is really important to make sure you're physically up for it. This is particularly important if you're not normally physically active. A doctor can advise you on how to approach a new exercise routine and tell you what signs to look for if you're overdoing it.

Tip #2: Set small goals. While it may be really exciting to set a large goal like running a marathon or going to the gym every day, it can be difficult to motivate yourself to actually achieve the goal. The goal may begin to feel overwhelming. The solution? Set smaller goals. For example, if your goal is to go to the gym every day, just go to the gym one day a week for three weeks. Once you've accomplish that goal, step it up. Decide to go to the gym twice a week for three weeks. Once you've accomplished that goal, step it up again. Soon you'll be going to the gym every day.

Tip #3: Reward yourself. Goal setting and achieving is supposed to be fun. When you reach a goal, reward yourself. For example, using the gym example from above - when you reach your goal of going to the gym once a week, you could buy yourself some workout music or get a new piece of workout clothing. When you reach the final goal of going every day, well it's probably time for some new clothes because you're looking awesome right?

Tip #4: Mix it up. It's easy to get into a rut when you're beginning a new workout routine. In order to keep things interesting and maintain your motivation, consider a few exercises or sports you enjoy. This can make it easier on your body too. For example, if you're running two or three times a week, consider walking or riding your bike on the other days. Maybe add yoga to keep your muscles flexible.

Tip #5: Exercise with friends. Friends motivate you to get to the gym, friends make it fun, and friends can challenge you to push yourself just a little bit farther than you might if you were working out alone.

Starting a new exercise routine is a fantastic way to feel great, look great and improve your health. Congratulations on making a resolution to improve your life! To learn more about our non-surgical body and face treatments that will have you looking good and feeling great at any age, visit our website. If you'd like to schedule a free, no obligation consultation, give our office a call today.

Once again...Happy (almost) New Year.

Say NO to Weight Gain This Holiday Season

bathroomscale250x209Did you know that the average person gains anywhere from 1 to 12 pounds during the holiday season alone? With the many holiday get-togethers coming up and all the delicious yet fattening treats that'll surely be served, to assure this doesn't happen to you, a plan of action is needed to assure you won't go into the New Year being heavier than before.

Here are some simple holiday diet tips and tricks to help you avoid the holiday weight gain that afflicts so many people.

1. Get Moving - Start an exercise regime now to get your metabolism in fat burning mode. You can workout at home by simply purchasing a few exercise videos or hand weights. You can also become involved in outdoor sports. As little as 30 minutes of exercise a day can make a huge difference in maintaining weight or shaping up muscles. If you need motivation, call some friends and have them join you.

2. Map out your events on a calendar - By taking this first step you can plan in advance how those parties will fit into your weekly meal plan so that you stay within the desired weekly calorie range to prevent weight gain.

3. Eat before you go - we talk about this before but if you eat a sensible snack or small, healthy meal before you leave for a party or occasion where there will be fattening foods you'll be less likely to have your eyes make decision for you. Don't eat so much that you won't want to eat at all, but enough that it will curb your appetite. Again, by having something healthy in your system already, you'll be less likely to spurge too much. The less sugary, fattening foods you eat, the less weight will creep onto your body during the holidays.

4. Avoid temptation by allowing yourself to indulge a little - For those holiday parties and get family gatherings, allow yourself to indulge on one item such as the appetizers or the dessert - but not both. At the event, try to avoid temptation as much as possible. You may not be able to avoid all temptation but you don't have to stay right by the food table. Get a small plate instead of a larger one, put on it a few things you'd really enjoy and then move as far away from the food as possible.

5. Stay away from empty calorie beverages such as alcohol- At the events drink something other than alcohol which has more calories than you might imagine. Drink lots of water - One of the best ways to avoid gaining weight during the ‘season of eating' is to drink a full 16-ounce glass of water before eating. If you fill your stomach up with water you'll be less likely to overeat. Does this mean you won't be able to enjoy any of your favorite holiday foods? Absolutely not! It simply means you won't want to eat as much as you would if you hadn't had the water

6. Don't eat after 7:00 pm - Research show that the earlier in the day foods are eaten, the more likely they are to be burned off. Therefore, eating late at night will almost assure that the food you eat will be stored as fat. Celebrities and professional athletes use this knowledge to their advantage and refuse to eat after a certain time at night. With this in mind, try using your natural body physiology as an ally in your weight control battle by making 7:00 p.m. your cut off. If your holiday party starts late, try to avoid those late night Hors d'oeuvres.

7. Eat healthy during the rest of the days - Be sure to eat healthy foods during the rest of the day when you know you have an event to attend. Your daily goal of seven or more servings of fruits and vegetables a day will allow you to fill up with good things rather than things which aren't so good for you. With this weight control strategy, if you've eaten well throughout the day, eating a small amount of sweets won't be so bad

These are only a few ideas to help you say no to weight gain this holiday season. Be creative when it comes to holiday eating. Don't deprive yourself when it comes to holiday goodies but learn to use moderation to avoid gaining extra pounds this year. If losing a few pounds is part of your 2011 New Year's Resolution and you'd like our help be sure to to fill out our weight loss survey and you'll receive a FREE body fat analysis.

Healthy Halloween Treats Kids Will Love

N_pumpkinseeds_300x200Just because it's Halloween doesn't mean you have to forget your family's health. There are more nutritious ways to enjoy the night. By all means let your kids hit the neighborhood and gather a bag of goodies, but temper that with a few nutritious treats of your own. If you are planning a Halloween party for the kids, put out a mix of healthy treats alongside the not-so-healthy favorites.

Here are a few ideas for healthy ghostly treats for your kids:

Trail Mix - This is a mix of snack foods that kids will love. Pick raisins, nuts, cereals, and any other dry foods your kids like to eat. Mix it all together and place it front-and-center so they can grab a handful as they run from one game to the next.

Celery and carrot skeleton - Cut thin strips of celery and carrots and arrange them to create a skeleton body on the plate. Form a low-fat cheese ball creation for the skull, carve out the eye sockets and fill with raisins. Stick the cheese knife right into the skull for more eerie fun.

Pumpkin seeds - When you carve up the pumpkins don't forget to save the seeds. Roasted and salted pumpkin seeds are a good after-carving snack. Let kids lay them flat on a baking sheet and watch them roast in a 400 degree oven.

Muffins - Finger foods like muffins can be sweet tasting like cupcakes but more nutritious. Try pumpkin muffins, zucchini muffins, or banana muffins for great taste and less sugar. Decorate the muffins just like you would cupcakes.

Chocolate spoons - Make your own chocolate treats using dark chocolate. It is healthier than milk chocolate because it contains more cocoa solids. Melt dark chocolate onto black and orange plastic spoons. Freeze them until the chocolate sets. Wrap them in cellophane and place them on the party table. The kids can lick them as a treat or swish them around in a cup of hot chocolate for extra flavor.

Caramel apples - Slice the apples for easier eating. Put the slices in individual bowls and drizzle the caramel over the top. You can sprinkle the apples with chopped nuts if you wish. A little caramel goes a long way, and it keeps the calories and sugar at a minimum.

What will your kids eat this Halloween? It doesn't just have to be candy. Give them candy in moderation, but let the bulk of the snacks you create be of a healthier variety.

October Is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Nutritional Changes Can Make a Difference.

October Breast Cancer AwarenessCancer is a disease that we all wish didn’t exist. It ravages the body and the lives of those around the sufferer. No one can predict who will and who won’t get cancer, but one way that you can reduce your risk of certain kinds of cancers is through watching your nutritional intake.

You are what you eat. Even when you are young, eating poorly will eventually catch up with you. Eating a natural diet not only helps your body by boosting your immune system, it also keeps the body operating in good condition on the inside.

One cancer that is a big concern these days is breast cancer. Besides having yearly mammograms when you turn 40, women can also make nutritional changes to lower their risk.

These changes include adding more of the following to your diet...

Fruits and Vegetables:

One way to do that is to eat more fruits and vegetables. These foods contain complex carbohydrates as well as other substances like antioxidants. Antioxidants fight free radical damage in the body. Free radicals are by-products of cellular metabolism. They also come from the environment, second-hand smoke, foods and stress.

These particles bombard the organs and cause the signs of aging and the breakdown of body systems that can lead to diseases like cancer. Here are some types of fruits and vegetables that are particularly good for fighting cancer:

  • Cruciferous veggies - These are your broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts. They contain sulfur compounds that help fight cancer.
  • Alliums - This is a type of vegetable family that includes onions, garlic and leeks. They may make you cry when you cut them, but they are good for you. Garlic helps lower cholesterol. All of them contain antimicrobial properties. In addition, they can slow or retard cancer growth.
  • Berries - Raspberries, strawberries and blueberries are just a few of these fruits that contain lots of antioxidant substances. Antioxidants can increase your resistance to disease as they help your body fight back. Consume as many antioxidants as you can naturally. These and other fruits contain phenols, which help boost the immune system.


Soy is a form of plant protein. When it comes to protein, we often get the bulk of it from animal sources. The disadvantage of this is that animal meat also contains a lot of fat. It is the fats that we don’t need. Soy provides all the benefits of lean protein without that added fat.

Legumes and Nuts:

This group includes beans, lentils and peanuts. Legumes are rich in protein and low in fat. Beans are also high in fiber which flushes fat out of your system as it passes. Fiber also prevents constipation and helps your digestive system to function properly. Nuts contain protein and fat. Healthy fats and oils in nuts are crucial for your body’s cells.

While no one can predict cancer in any one person, you can reduce your risk significantly with a healthy diet.

To learn about our Women's Health Program featuring The Body FocusCancer Smart Diet & Fitness Plan give our office a call.

Healing Humor - Laughter Can Help

eating-appleHave you ever heard that laughter is the best medicine?

Actually it is. Laughter therapy teaches people to get in touch with their feelings through humor.

Now, it's a given that all situations in life are not funny. In fact, when you are seeking therapy, it is usually for something serious that needs to be dealt with so that you can continue to live your life. In this case, laughter is used as a means to an end and not as a way to make light of your situation.

Let's look at the anatomy of laughter. What happens when you laugh? First of all, your abs start to hurt (not a bad thing if you are trying to tone them in addition to other things). That is a sign of a deep belly laugh, a "side splitter" as they call it.

But what about after you stop laughing and catch your breath? You feel better. Laughter releases those endorphins in the brain, the body's natural "mood enhancers." You wipe the laughing tears and your eyes seem a little brighter. If something was bothering you, it's no longer taking over your entire thought process.

Laughter is used as a gateway in therapy. As a child or according to sex, we are often told to stifle certain feelings - anger, sensitivity, sadness; the list goes on. When these feelings are stunted, they don't simply disappear from our emotional repertoire. They get buried deep. Repressed feelings have been the subject of more than one psychological dissertation.

More and more, professionals are beginning to realize that repressed emotional states affect the body, not just the mind. You could be crippling your physical and emotional wellbeing when you don't express what you are feeling inside. But, you need a non-threatening environment to do so.

That is where laughter therapy can help. Let's say that from a young age you were told that angry feelings lead to violence. For so long, you have repressed anger and it has led to ulcers and more than one broken relationship.

Through laughter, you can get in touch with that anger. Your therapist can use humor to help you deal with a situation that angered you. Since you are still probably not ready to express anger, laughter can be the way to get you to release that anger in a controlled environment. With the laughter come tears, anger, fear and all the other emotions we try to hide. Humor helps you see your problems from a different perspective, which breaks down barriers needed to proceed with the therapeutic process.

How can you encourage laughter even after the therapy session? Watch a funny show or read funny comics or stories on a regular basis. The more you enhance your mood, the more you will strive to experience humor to help you deal with the other emotional states in your life.

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